Photo: Flickr/Pink Sherbet PhotographyAt midnight this morning, Vermont’s historic legislature-driven law opening marriage up to same-sex partners came into effect. Most similar moves have been driven by states’ high courts. The thrill of marriage equality must be wearing off in the Northeast, though, because the AP reports that only a handful of couples showed up across the state so far today to tie the knot. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company, though, is celebrating the event by renaming it’s “Chubby Hubby” flavor “Hubby Hubby” at its Vermont ice cream shops through the end of September.

On the other side of the country, thought, a ballot initiative in Washington state that aims to head off a proposed “everything but marriage” law made it onto the ballot for this November by 900 signatures. According to Pam’s House Blend, a pro-family/pro-LGBT group has filed an injunction to stop the certification of the ballot question, because of what she says are 36,000 invalid signatures that should be thrown out. The Seattle Times reports:

The underlying domestic partnership law, which the Legislature passed in 2007, provided hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations, and inheritance rights when there is no will.

Last year, lawmakers expanded that law to give domestic partners standing under laws covering probate and trusts, community property and guardianship. Opposite-gender seniors also can register as domestic partners.

If rejected at the polls, R-71 wouldn’t overturn those first two phases of domestic partnerships. But a failure in November would roll back the additional rights approved earlier this year under the “everything but marriage” law.

Photo: Flickr/Pink Sherbet Photography

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